2013 End of Year Book Survey–Kara’s Picks

Posted December 18, 2013 by Kara in Kara / 11 Comments

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Source:  We Heart ItIt’s time to present my list of 2013 favorites. I know there is still half a month left in the year, but who has time to gather a list like this during Christmas and New Year’s? I figure if I read something epic between now and then, I will include it in next year’s list. I want to thank Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner for putting this together for the 4th year in a row. This is my first year participating, but I’ve always loved reading the lists. Now I finally get to do my own.

As far as books go, it was a pretty disappointing reading year for me. I read a lot of good stuff, but there are only a few REAL favorites. I guess I’ve gotten pickier and harder to impress. Such is the plight of a book blogger. I’m also disappointed with the number of books I read this year. It’s about the same as 2012, but I had hoped to improve my attention span and time spent reading, and I did not. There is good news though. I’ve upped my reading speed and frequency a bit this past month, so I have high hopes going into 2014 that I will do better.

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist) photo bookcover6-7.jpg

Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

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The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Surprising in a good way because I pretty much had zero expectations going into reading this one. No one I knew had read it, the cover is kind of awful, and I was sure it would be mediocre. Not so much. It’s well-researched, the characters are well developed, and though the situations are difficult, the book is positive and magical.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Night Film by Marisha Pessl

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

This is a seven book series and it started off with such a bang. Super strong world-building in this one which is so important to me as a reader.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Trish Doller. I loved Where the Stars Still Shine with all of my heart. I fell in love with the setting and the characters, and now I want to read every book she writes. So far, they are all set in Florida. Her debut was, and so is the one she’s writing now.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian

This was one of my first forays into the darker side of contemporary YA. I made that decision because the blurb intrigued me. I am glad I did. Aside from a couple of minute issues, I really loved this one and plan to read more in 2014.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

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The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Night Film by Marisha Pessl again. I bought a copy after I read the galley, and honestly, even though it was one of the best books of my year, I feel like I missed a lot of subtle nuances.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2013.

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The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein

11. Most Memorable Character in 2013.

Lilac LaRoux from These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2013.

The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman.

13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2013.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl again. Very few books make it onto my best books of all time list, and this one managed to do that this year. I almost gave it to Swimming at Night for the emotional impact the book had on me, so I’d say this once was almost a tie.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2013 to Finally Read. 

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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2013:

“I hate how the people who really get you are the ones you can never hold on to for very long. And the ones who don’t understand you at all stick around.” Marisha Pessl, Night Film

16. Shortest and Longest Book You Read in 2013.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan-608 Pages.

Genius by Steven T. Seagle, Teddy Kristiansen-128 pages.

17. Book That Had a Scene That Had You Reeling and Dying to Talk About It. 

Horde by Ann Aguirre. I just finished it last night and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more

18. Favorite Relationship From a Book You Read in 2013. 

Definitely Deuce and Fade from Horde by Ann Aguirre. I am reading it right now and I love them.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From an Author You’ve Read Previously?

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. There were a couple of candidates for this category, but this is the one I had to go with.

20: Best Book You Read in 2013 That You Read Solely Based on A Recommendation from Somebody Else: 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth.

SO many blogger recommendations and positive reviews. 

21. Genre I Read the Most from in 2013.

It was close between young adult dystopian and young adult contemporary, but dystopian wins by a hair. Two books to be exact.

22. Newest Fictional Crush from a Book You Read in 2013.

I don’t DO fictional crushes. Not only am I too old to crush on the YA boys, but it was never really my thing even when I could. I get lost in worlds and plots. Certain lines make me swoon, not necessarily characters.

23. Best 2013 Debut You Read. 

I’m giving some love here to Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis since I have already mentioned Sex and Violence so much. Also, If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. I know that’s more than one, but oh well.

24. Most Vivid World/Imagery in a Book You Read in 2013.

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Mistle Child by Ari Berk. Epic, epic world-building an imagery. Some of the most beautiful writing I have ever seen and full of gothicky goodness.

25. Book That Was the Most Fun to Read in 2013.

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason. I am so ready for book two in the series already!

26. Book that Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2013.

I’m going with Horde again. I just finished it last night and I sobbed my heart out more than once. It was brutal. My heart could not take it.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year or When It Came Out.

The Dead by Charlie Higson. This series does not get enough hype or marketing. At all. And it’s brilliant.


11 responses to “2013 End of Year Book Survey–Kara’s Picks

  1. I clearly need to read Night Film ASAP and I’m so glad to have The Miseducation of Cameron Post based on blogger reviews too – it was such a gem. Wonderful re-cap, Kara!

  2. Amy

    I was trying to do this survey, but I totally suck and couldn’t think at all about what books to put. I might try again since I still have a little time. I loved The Eternity Cure too!! What a fantastic book!! I can’t wait to read If You Find Me! Thanks again for gifting it to me love!!

  3. Wow, you really chose just one book for the best? YOU ARE A MONSTER (I SAY THIS BECAUSE YOU ARE SO DECISIVE AND I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW WONDERFUL IT MUST BE). Also, I think you put this in SHS, and I hope I love it.

    And I also need to read The Fire Horse Girl. Haha, fail. :-p

    Whoops, I tried to be helpful by grabbing Valley of Amazement. I am bad luck. Also, btw, The Boy on the Porch is awful, if you haven’t tried it already I am warning you.

    I have Night Film to read too. And The Bone Season is in SHS. (Noticing a theme)


    Oooh, Sex & Violence. I gave that the debut slot, though was it the best one I don’t know but eh. It was good and I like to vary my answers.

    Lilac? Really? (seriously I am Arrested Developmenting right now – HER?)

    My longest book of the year was also not good. My top three in fact. I wonder why I fear chunky books?

    Awww, Deuce and Fade.

    Who recommended Cameron Post? Wendy?

    Oooh, Berk would have been a good choice for writing, even if I was a bit bored. Haha. His writing was gorgeous.

    • I feel like I had a lot of favorites, but there is one that always has the edge. That’s the way it works for me anyway. It’s always about emotional connection for me and that one made me ugly cry.

      Yes, you need to read that this year. Did I put it in SHS? Because I will.

      You tried and that’s all that matters! You sent me The Boy on the Porch, didn’t you? Sadistic!

      Read Night Film, STAT!

      His writing IS gorgeous. I get why you were bored. I have to grab the third book in the trilogy. It’s either out of comes out like REALLY soon.

  4. The Eternity Cure was freaking fantastic. I’m so excited for the final book!!
    YAY FOR NIGHT FILM. Gosh, what an amazing book.
    The recommendations for The Miseducation of Cameron Post have been great. I’m hoping to get to this one in 2014. 🙂
    Hhahaha to #22 – I completely removed that question and re-numbered the remaining ones because I don’t do book boyfriends either. You’re the only one I’ve seen that doesn’t either.

    • I KNOW IT WAS. I can’t waitttt!

      Night Film was epic. It’s the one book I have tried to push on everyone this year.

      SO glad I am not alone! Bekka, our new addition, doesn’t do book boyfriends either!

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